Radio vs Digital Audio Advertising

4 min read

Terrestrial radio advertising has been a major marketing channel connecting brand advertisers to consumers, but times are changing, and advertisers are turning the channel to digital radio. 

A 2023 Edison Research report found that 87% of Americans aged 12-54 listened to online audio each month. Audio advertising has shifted to digital formats, such as streaming radio and podcasts. The benefits are many, from access to millions of listeners to campaign analytics and precise demographic targeting. 

Radio advertising

There is nothing inherently wrong with radio advertising. Radio ads still reach a good part of the population. As much as 37% of listening time comes from the radio. So, despite a massive shift to digital audio, folks still listen to over-the-air radio. But radio ads come with drawbacks:

  • Limited targeting. Targeting options are limited to geographical areas and stations.
  • Limited measurement. Radio ads lack the technology to track and measure ad performance. It's difficult to accurately calculate radio ad effectiveness.
  • Higher production costs. Production costs can range from $1,000 to $2,500, involving studios, voice actors, audio editors, and copywriters.

Digital Audio advertising

Technological advancements have enabled advertisers to achieve greater capabilities at lower costs compared to radio. 

Audience Reach

Audio advertising has emerged as a more effective way to reach potential customers. Consider these stats:

Moreover, our AudioGO platform allows advertisers to reach consumers on popular streaming platforms such as Pandora, SiriusXM, iHeartRadio, and more

Audience Targeting

Radio advertising uses something of a "shotgun" approach by blasting ads over an entire region, hoping to reach the right people. However, digital advertising enables advertisers to directly engage with an audience that has already expressed interest in their business category. For example, realtors or home improvement services can target a specific region and demographic. This hyper-targeted approach leads to more effective response rates. 

Audience Engagement

Regarding response rates, audio advertising enables ad interaction, a feature unavailable in radio ads. Calls-to-action and clickable links allow listeners to visit your website or call directly from your phone. Further, websites can add a tracking pixel to provide additional response feedback. 

Advertising Analytics

Another plus for digital audio ads is the ability to track how your ads are performing. Using the AudioGO platform, you get a real-time view of ad performance: 

  • Impressions
  • Unique listeners
  • Listen-through-rates (LTR)
  • Click-through-rates (CTR)
  • Daily spend
  • Conversions

And listener audience metrics:

  • Age group
  • Gender
  • Genre
  • Location
  • Device type
  • Publisher

Ad Production Cost

Radio commercials can cost upwards of $1,000 or more, factoring in production costs and agency placement fees.

Alternatively, with technological advancements, businesses can leverage tools like AudioGO Creative Suite to build their ads for as little as $10 and deliver them in 24 hours or less. 

Don't have a script? Try our Ad Inspiration Library. Study successful ad campaigns aligning with your brand goals, listen to ads, and learn the tips. 

And you can easily target Spanish-speaking demographics as well. Nearly 20% of the US population is Hispanic, and 90% of them stream digital audio every month.

Ad Rates

When dealing with radio ads, businesses are often faced with high-priced, long-term contracts. That's not how we like to do things. AudioGO is a self-serve, pay-as-you-go service. Businesses can get started immediately for as little as $250. Ads are priced on a CPM basis, starting at $18 CPM.

Winning with digital vs radio

If you're considering switching from radio advertising to digital, you're thinking wisely. Check out these case studies to see how businesses succeed with digital podcast advertising. 

Businesses that benefit from audio advertising typically have a local audience:

  • Real estate
  • Banks
  • Car dealerships
  • Home Improvement 
  • Health care
  • Staffing
  • Non-profits
  • Schools / Education 

Contact AudioGO to learn how you can leverage audio advertising to achieve your marketing objectives.